We took another batch of our new guys to the range the other day for familiarization training with the AK-47. As I've mentioned before, contrary to popular opinion most Afghans can't shoot at all. Even the Taliban tend to be, for all their experience, very poor shots. Unfortunately for the company, my guys aren't much better.
It doesn't help that for most of them the only training they receive is a couple of days instruction on how to operate a Kalashnikov and then a day at the range where they get to fire a total of ten rounds. If they hit the target at all, they're judged a success. If they score 50%, they're considered an expert. Far cry from US Army standards.
This time, we went to the range with about twenty ANP recruits. The Lion (a former ANP commando) had agreed to train them, and in exchange the ANP gave us enough ammunition to run our guys through. I was simultaneously pleased and disheartened to discover that the ANP can't shoot either. Doesn't say much for the security forces in this town, but hey, at least we're not the only ones.
We finished the day by holding a little competition between all the senior staff on the range. The operations manager, two of our supervisors and myself all loaded up ten rounds and tried to knock down some empty water bottles at fifty meters. As I hoped, the rest of the trainees were sitting in the shade and observing while I schooled our senior staff on how to shoot. Knocked down all five with only eight rounds (with an unzeroed weapon too), while the Ops Manager could only get two. My stock with the rank-and-file went up considerably.
Not that there's any tangible reward for good shooting. All I got was a sunburn.